Our match of the week is Ole & Arn Anderson vs Don & Rocky Kernodle, on June 24, 1986 (airdate 7/5/86), from Rock Hill, South Carolina (JCP).

Al Rogowski (Ole Anderson) passed away on Monday at the age of 81.

A few weeks ago, a listener asked for advice on what tapes to watch as he prepared to enter wrestling school. My answer was “if you want to get your work over in a unique way that nobody works anymore today, watch Ole Anderson”.

There was nothing fancy about the way Ole Anderson wrestled. He worked in a way that matched his promos and overall persona – rugged, no nonsense, believable. Punches, stomps, dissecting limbs, getting down on the mat and riding if he needed to, with dirty but subtle and well placed underhanded tactics that usually led to the win. Ole came across like a true ass kicker, while also being truly despicable and hateable due too his words and actions, making no attempts to be a cool heel. You hated Ole because you knew he could take apart your favorites and wanted to destroy them, and he wasn’t above cutting corners if that’s what it took.

Ole’s style was simple, direct, and logical, wanting his matches to come across like fights where he was positioned as the bully, but unlike other heels from his era, there was nothing methodical about his work. His offense was relentless and full of energy, almost hectic, never leaving room for the opponent to breath, and wasting no time or effort playing to the crowd or doing anything other than taking apart his opponent. Ole would sell plenty, but rarely bumped, saving that for big highspots or the apex of the match, a less is more approach to getting the babyfaces over while keeping your heat. A typical Ole Anderson match, particularly the tags which he was most famous for, would see him blitz the opponent early, attack a limb with relentless precision, and either cut off the comeback with something dirty for the win when facing stars, or simply grab the limb he’d been decimating and win with a simple submission (often an armbar) when facing a jobber or prelim wrestler.

Ole is someone whose work I have come to appreciate more and more over the years. As a kid, I didn’t like him at all, probably because there was nothing flashy about his style, and there isn’t much appeal of a guy in his mid-40’s who looks like your angry uncle when the rest of the show features guys like the Road Warriors and Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff. But that was kind of the point. Ole didn’t want to be liked. Once I started to understand pro wrestling better, Ole blew past a lot of my old favorites when it came to watching and rewatching old footage.

Read the rest of the write-up and watch the match at https://www.patreon.com/posts/match-of-week-2-99325760